Greatest Progressive Metal Bands: Dream Theater Vs. Symphony X

In this segment of progressive metal bands it’s Dream Theater up against Symphony X.

Dream Theater

Dream Theater is one of the most popular bands in the progressive metal genre. While the band has gone through changes in recent years, what remains intact is the epic sound of the band. Over the years Dream Theater has influenced bands from various extreme metal genres. The drop dead gorgeous complex timings in Dream Theater songs have inspired a new breed of musicians. Dream Theater is regarded as a pioneering act in the realms of progressive metal. Their music is a blend of progressive rock and metal bringing to life a unique new sound that has inspired many

bands to tread the prog road. The band is known for its technical proficiency, with each member of the band being a virtuoso musician.

The Dream Theater sound is an embodiment of influences from various music genres. The result is an amalgamation of prog, metal, symphonic rock, traditional metal, hard rock, speed metal, and glam metal. Guitar player John Petrucci of Dream Theater has attained God-like status among the guitar community. A large number of Dream Theater fans were of the opinion the Dream Theater sound would disintegrate after the departure of Mike Portnoy. However, Mike Mangini proved a large section of Mike Portnoy fans wrong by bringing his style and finesse on the drums which has worked well for their new sound.

Dream Theater is known for their themes in albums. The songs are often in parts leading the listener in different phases in accordance with the concept. Complex off-beats form an integral part of the bands compositional structure. James LaBrie’s shrill high pitched voice is a rage among fans, especially in the power metal genre. Dream Theater has earned praise from critics all over the world. The band keeps inventing itself with every album which is why the sound keeps evolving while being rooted in the realms of progressive metal. Dream Theater is known for their flawless live performances. Do these guys ever make a mistake…?

Must have Dream Theater Albums

  • Images and Words
  • Awake
  • Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
  • Systematic Chaos
  • A Dramatic Turn of Events

Symphony X

Listen to a Symphony X song, and you will realize this band is what we can call metronomical poetry.. Their metronome timings and odd time rhythmic structure on songs makes them a class apart among progressive metal bands. While the band is broadly

classified as symphonic metal, their music encompasses major progressive elements with a blend of neo-classical metal. The complex timings on their songs have left audiences amazed. The band came into being in 1994 and since then, the band has mesmerized prog metal fans and symphonic metal fans with their brand of music. The band has toured extensively over the years performing at different venues all over the world.

Symphony X has a cult following among the progressive rock and progressive metal community. Michael Romeo, the guitarist of the band is known for his blistering solos and monstrous riffing. His technical abilities accompanied with his poetic phrasing qualities make him a popular guitar player among the guitar community. Vocalist Russell Allen has an incredible vocal range, and is one of the most respected vocalists in the progressive metal domain. The rest of the lineup features Michael Pinnella on keyboards, Michael Lepond on bass and Jason Rullo on drums. The music of Symphony X can be best described as an epic sound from a dreamscape.

Symphony X has a manic following in Europe and Japan, and the band regularly performs in these parts of the world. Every Symphony X album has a concept, and songs are often in accordance with the theme of the album. The complex odd time riffing has become a signature style that forms the core sound of the band. Symphony X has emerged as one of the premier progressive metal acts of the 2000s. Their music has paved new avenues for progressive metal and symphonic metal. Their poetic embellishments of traditional heavy metal, hard rock and neo classical metal in the realms of prog have left audiences speechless. Symphony X’s music is structurally epic and they are definitely one of the most unique sounding bands in the progressive domain.  

Must Have Symphony X Albums

  • The Divine Wings of Tragedy
  • Paradise Lost
  • Iconoclast
  • The Odyssey
  • Underworld


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